First lung transplant recipient dies three weeks after surgery

Ahram Online , Saturday 7 Jan 2023

A thirty-year-old Egyptian woman who had recently undergone a lung transplant from a living donor – the first operation of its kind in Egypt and the Middle East – at Ain Shams University Hospital has died, the university announced on Friday.



The patient, Sahar, suffered "abrupt deterioration" despite experiencing "three weeks of relative success" following a post-operative complication that occurs in 30 percent such cases, the university explained in a statement, reported by Ahram Arabic news gate, during her last hours.

"After the relative success of the patient for a period of three weeks, her separation from the cardiac-pulmonary perfusion and partial support ventilation devices, her full interaction with people, and the start of the physical rehabilitation programme to help move and walk, a sudden deterioration occurred," the hospital statement read.

Such complications "occur in such cases by 30 percent" of cases the hospital clarified, adding that she, as a result, was put back on ventilators.

Medical examinations conducted by the hospital staff showed that "the patient's body rejected the transplanted lung violently, despite receiving the best treatments available in the world," it added.

The 14-hour long operation was performed on 17 December after a long period of preparations.

Medical specialists in the fields of chest pathology, thoracic surgery, anesthesia and the cardiovascular field participated in the operation.

The patient, who was suffering respiratory failure, received two lung lobes donated by her two brothers.

In its statement, the university stressed its determination to press ahead with lung transplantation programme to fulfill the needs of its wait-list lung patients, reiterating its confidence in its medical team.

Transplantation in Egypt began for the first time in 1978 with kidney transplants. It was followed 20 years later by the first liver transplant in 2001.

Today, more than 5,400 liver transplants have been completed.

In previous remarks to Ahram Online, Minister of Health and Population Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar said the field of organ transplantation in Egypt is expected to witness an unprecedented qualitative leap.

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